Emerging Trends in Bhutanese Cinema Explored at NWCC’s Samvad Series

In a vibrant exchange of ideas and insights, the Nehru-Wangchuck Cultural Centre (NWCC) in Thimphu recently played host to a captivating session on ‘Contemporary Cinema in Bhutan’. The event, part of NWCC’s esteemed Samvad Series, featured esteemed panellists Ms Nyema Zam and Ms Charmi Chheda, who delved into the evolution and future prospects of Bhutanese cinema.

The evening commenced with a warm welcome to a diverse audience eager to explore the cinematic landscape of Bhutan. Ms Nyema Zam, renowned for her contributions to Bhutanese cinema, shared her perspectives on the journey of local films and the challenges they have overcome. Her insights into storytelling and cultural representation in Bhutanese films sparked a lively discussion among attendees.

Joining her was Ms Charmi Chheda, whose expertise in film production and narrative development added depth to the dialogue. Together, they navigated through the emergence of new genres and the increasing experimentation seen in Bhutan’s film industry. From traditional narratives to modern interpretations, the panellists highlighted how Bhutanese filmmakers are embracing diverse themes and techniques to connect with global audiences.

A highlight of the evening was the screening of the animated short film ‘Kathputli’, which enchanted the audience with its poignant storytelling and artistic craftsmanship. The film, resonating with themes of identity and tradition, exemplified the creative strides being made in Bhutanese animation.

“The session was not just about celebrating our achievements but also about charting a course for the future,” remarked Ms Nyema Zam, reflecting on the importance of nurturing local talent and expanding horizons in Bhutanese cinema. The audience, comprising film enthusiasts, students, and industry professionals, eagerly participated in the dialogue, exchanging ideas on how to further elevate the profile of Bhutanese films on the global stage.

The Nehru-Wangchuck Cultural Centre at Thimphu, Bhutan, is a Cultural Centre of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations of India. It was inaugurated on 21st September 2010 by Dr. Karan Singh, the then President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and His Excellency Lyonpo Minjur Dorji, the then Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan.

The Centre promotes bilateral cultural linkages between India and Bhutan by organizing cultural programmes, cultural seminars, workshops and trainings engaging India based Gurus professionals and trainers for Yoga and Indian Classical Music. Other than the regular activities, exhibitions and performing art shows, the Centre also arranges art workshops, and drawing & painting competitions, seminars, lecture demonstrations and many more events. The Centre also screens documentaries twice a month.

As the discussion drew to a close, the consensus among attendees was clear: Bhutanese cinema is undergoing a transformative phase, marked by innovation and a renewed sense of cultural pride. The Samvad Series session at NWCC provided a platform for reflection and inspiration, reaffirming the vital role of storytelling in shaping the cultural narrative of Bhutan.

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